Sunday, December 31, 2006

For a year of towering glory!

Celebrate victories tall or short!

Have a great year ahead...

- Ashwin

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Movie Review- Veyyil

Veyyil. The heat permeates in every screen and manifests itself in all the characters, sometimes with a shining glow and many a time through its suffocation.Murugesan and Kadir, played by Pasupathy and Bharath, are brothers from a rustic village near virudhunagar (madurai).
Bharath is as exuberant and shiny as the sun is and Pasupathy is like an eclipsed sun, full of feared energy lying dormant.Pasupathy's crush with Pandi (played by Shirya, as the character reaches middle age) comes to a grinding halt, when Kumar (Pasu's dad) man-handles and strips him naked in hot sun, for giving a miss to school and relishing MGR movie (in the midst of rings of smoke, perhaps).The scorch of the sun in his life starts here, as Pasupathy sets off to a destination that he never reached. Losing money, jewels (taken from home), Pasupathy carries hope and MGR in his mind.
The story then is about his love for the smalltown movie hall where he is the operator. Carefully scripted poetic relationship between him and his gaurdian, Pasupathy's handlebar mouthstache, all add to director's meticulousness and focus in story telling.Pasupathy falls in love with Thangam, the opposite door food stall owner's daughter. Their love raises heat like mercury but fades soon like twilight, as the girl's family takes revenge on Pasupathy for the couple's pervious day's initimate moment in the operator room.Pasupathy escapes death even after strangling, while thangam kills herself seeing his plight!Much like the mercury suffocating you in the summer, life's travails melt pasupathy, who finally decides to go back to his dusty village.
The scene where pasupathy meets bharath and introduces himself, one where his dad refuses any emotional sidekicks to pasupathy moves you like ghee that melts in hot air. Special mention about Vasanthabalan, the debutant director, for his characterization and casting.Bharath plays the anchor for Pasupathy in the house now and rallies everyone around to show their love for their lost-and-found elder brother. While their mother (another fitting display of the characterization) shows ample love, its second to what she has for Bharath, who took the family to where it is, with his banner advertising company.Pandi, Pasu's childhood crush is another manifestation of suffocated life who is now a single mother. She offers motherly affection to quell Pasupathy's emotinal starvation.When the whole family keeps him away and still doubts him (mistakenly) for jewels that disappeared the second time, Pasupathy's reaction to the characters and props, tell you that he is the next big thing in tamil cinema.
Bharath also scores will in choosing his movies and getting into the character. As an angry rustic youth with immense desire to excel, Bharath truely epitomizes the can-do rural youth.His heroics in the advertising auction, humility in front of the business man, love for brother, care for family and romantic overlays spiced with anger, for Meenakshi, all gel well with the character and Bharath has done his role proud.The movie does not trivialize sibling relationships like other tamil movies have did. Murugesan lays his life for his brother who was chased to the edge of death by the rival business gang and saves his brother and his family's existence.Only then the family realizes that Murugesan is not a run-away kid but their savior, albeit, after the heat of life had consumed him.
Veyyil, in all, is a must watch classic that touches upon the helplessness of a cursed soul as it tries to win over life and does not live to see it, as it wins life!
Must watch!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Autobio in a post

My journey

1. Age 1 to 3 - Slept well to compensate for today's sleepless life

2. Age 4 - My biggest problem was school which shared a door with my home. That was hell to be in school when you can see your mom moving across the home

Age 5 - I still remember rekha was used to steal my kuchi in school

Age 6 - 14 - Calm and reserved boy. Good in quiz.Learnt Hindi and Vishnu sahasranamam well

Age 15 - Padma ma'am changed my life. Even I could score 197 in 10th math. Hats off ma'am. You showed me the strength of preseverence and confidence. Thanks for all that and those apples.

Age 16-17 - Hoplessely wandered around with friends and one-side dreamz about the girl whose dad is my dad's colleague. Gosh the comparisons my dad would bring up between my rank and hers :-).Hey u, If you read this just have a hearty laugh.

Age - 16 -20 - The becoming of a man. From stage-phobic boy to college anchor. From reserved kid to fashion parade judge.From stumbling in math to Belling the CAT

Age 21 - 22 -- IIT was hesitant to take me in. Called me finally and rest was history. Came out as one of the most beloved, respected and eligible student.My worst enemy (Now HOD and a person that i respect inspite of some strong optinion I have)admired me for my straight talks

Age 23 - I ruined my life by making some career related errors. The days taught me the value of parents, friends and magnanimity (My enem prof was the first guy to help me).Thanks guys for serving me the bread when I hesitated to ask for.

Age 24 - Blossomed in a small company.Mixed bag of good and bad days

Age 25: Found and Lost!

Thats my diary.Now dont steal my identity

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Days of her life!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chennai Shopping Guide

The Festival Season has arrived and so have exciting offers from the popular brands.

Now before you loosen your purse strings, beware of bloatware !

Well, bloatware is still a software concept, but not necessarily irrelevant in today's marketplace. A bloatware, simply put, is a brand that gives more than what you want and charge you for it, when all you end up getting is useless features for extra price.

Some promotions to notice in this shopping season:

1. Lifestyle says it will give you assured gift for any purchase over Rs.4000 and the gift is worth Rs.350 (not even 10%. Add to this service charge of 2% if you are paying by card. Do you need this offer?)

2. Globus once told the same thing (assured gift) and I bought for Rs.2000 and I got A COFFEE BITE chocolate!

3. Cookieman - The moment you step into a mall that has cookieman, you can not escape the aura of freshly baked cookies. But taste any cookie, they dont taste as well as they smell. Aroma Branding or False Promise?

4. Cafe Coffee Day - I counted. A glass of frappe had 29 ice cubes in it. The tender said its to keep the frappe cool. Is it experience or cheating? Your glass of frappe without ice is actually only 1/4th of a glass!

5. Pizza Hut - A combo offer costs 75 bucks and the tax is 18 bucks over and above!

6. City center in chennai charges 30 rupees for parking if you are there for more than an hour

7. Murugan idly shop - Your chilly powder costs Rs.4 extra and you come to know of it only after you have it!

While you have every right to be lavish, there is a saying in tamizh - Even if you throw our mony into the river, count it and the put it, so that you know how much you had just lost!

And now if all this making your heart burn, there are still good things happening around you - like this initiative of helping HIV patients (See the second picture)

Its a Christmas Tree with a difference. You can give donations for HIV patients and based on the denomination a card in your name (and denomination note) will be stuck to the leaves and when everyone donates, the tree will look like a snowy white X-mas tree, but just that the snow is actually more than snow...its your contribution towards making yourself a better human being.

Happy Shopping! Happy X-mas! Happy Donating!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Knowingly (sometimes vehemently) or unkowingly we leave our signatures in the way we go about things or perhaps dont go about things..
Let me try to see what are those I consider my signatures (Dont expect a Psyhcometric analysis here..this is for tchummah)
  • Elumchanga ooruga for sambar rice
  • Thalai vagidu from right to left
  • Some bracelet in hand always
  • Swirling my phone
  • Making it stand on its edge in flat surface
  • Fanatic Fascination for orange and red colored dresses (including trousers)
  • Losing my keys everyday but never searched for it for more than 10 mins
  • Love for Sujatha novels

Thookam varuthu...

Will be continued...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Theosophically speaking..

There are roads you walk down through and there are roads that walk you through memories. The place where you first held her hands, the place where you learnt your driving, the place where you broke the news of your marriage plans to her and so on...
I prefer walking anyday to driving. The world's less faster, less chaotic, more still and more forthcoming to reveal when you walk.
The road comes free! And hence walk! I reebok'ed myself for a walk down the theosophical society road...Its a dream I lived. The road is next best thing to heaven. No sidelanes, no pot holes...just trees, avenue trees and more and a divine turn thats as elegant as a girl's hip..
Theosophical society as it turns out is not just about theology. Its a carefully crafted paradise in green. Avenues that never seem to end, take you far inside the woods that all you hear is just chirps, fading sounds of vehicles that resemble distant water falls and some odd sounds by disturbed birds.
The only thing missing was a good company. God had no one to attend to in that time of the morning. Probably his call center was free and my wish was granted instantly. Three girls from "Nizhal" took me through the lanes once more. Just this time the lanes seem to look more beautiful even when though girls spoke about things like Pongamia Glabra, Ficus Arhtecus, Fern and blah. (I have taken the liberty to click off the irritating botany professor, bunch of un-interesting walkers. They dont matter to me, this blog or to you).
But the walk came to an end abruptly when my mom called up to say that she has four horoscopes to process and that was FMI (For My Info.).
I am 26 and am still in the game. Have asked mom for a 15 day truce. After all I am a traveller with no intention to arrive and no intended place to go.
Will keep walking....

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nat!onal Security

I am an Indian Hindu. I am brown. What is the level of inhumane treatment I would get if I am caught in racial profiling? Well, depends on whether I sport a french beard and pajama/Kurta on that day's flight.

Do I pose a security threat if I sport a french beard? I dont know. I dont even know what is security and definitely do not know when does a government call a person a threat to national security!

Can a government provide security to a nation? Laughable! What if tomorrow, a terrorist (Racial Profile: Arab, Brown, bearded, wears Pajama Kurta and speaks Arabic - This is what I am being told, all terrorists are or all men who have this profile are terrorists....even if they are harmless sufis from mumbai) decides to break open a plane''s window and throw a hand grenade that just lands on my apartment terrace? If I die,will they call it threat to national security? Will they anticipate such threats in advance and keep a commando in every apartment top (trained by mahendra singh dhoni on dive catches)? Back to the point, when is a threat called as a national threat? Should there be "x" number of deaths? I dont think so. If numbers are significant then we have a living threat in our parliament with more than 500 people causing national threat for over 50 years and few of them going on a merry-go-round to afganistan on a charter flight in full media glare!

If all our commandos are guarding the apartments who will guard coco-cola dispensers? What if no one is there? Will terrorists replace a coke dispenser with liquid bomb dispensers so that every passenger becomes an involuntary terrorist?

So I suggest, screw security arrangements. You cannot save anyone and everyone, everytime. We invested trillions in missiles, intercontinental bramhos-thras..Instead we can include jet airways, spice jet and Kingfisher in our battalions. They travel all international destinations and can cause better damage.

I suggest we dissolve our army, beef up our aviation strength (thats the new age weapon) and use the extra money to spread eduction, create employment and make our sons and daughters understand religions, tolerance and spend their times in bettering the world!

Thats secure for you, me, our grand children and this planet!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What empty does when its alone!

Araikkul pootiya verumai pola
Enakkul mutith thirumbum

Un Ninaivuhal!

Translates to

Like the emptiness
That roams in a locked room
Your memories wander
In my heart
Looking for the doors!

Date : July 23, 2006
Inspiration : Locked doors of my house that made me think what will happen inside when emptiness is alone!

Friday, July 14, 2006

For Ambi by Another Ambi who is not an Ambi like the other Ambi

Ambi = !

Ambi = ?

Ambi = ?!?

What is or Who is Ambi? If you like TamBrams or you have a love interest who is a TamBram, you should know this word for sure!

Ambi - Noun (Name of a person - Actually Nick Name of a person)


- Andha Ambi romba thuru thuru nu irukan (That boy is very shrewd. I dont know his name though..So use the genric term for a brahmin boy)

- Nalla ambi maari irukan (Looks very much like a cute and soft tambram guy. Here ambi is a generic name for anyone who is cute and soft tambram)

- Akkavum Ambiyum apdi ena than pesipelo ( Wonder what you bro and sis have to hush-hush about!... Here ambi refers to Bro)

So that's it? Nope! There is another Ambi whom everyone can identify with.

Here is the checklist to see if you qualify to be an "Ambi"

  1. You are clean shaven and dont sport mush. You face always has a religious mark.
  2. You wear Kadukkan (stud..not the Yo! Man variety...This is authentic tam stud)
  3. You wear spects (and not contact lens)
  4. Your hair has a wet look always (not due to gel). You wear coconut oil and comb using the long slender "sheikh cheepu".
  5. Your hair style and geometry can give a run to a straight line ruler.
  6. You are less than 5' 5"
  7. You wear Lacoste t-shirt tucked into a tailor-stitched coffee brown pants and reebok shoes
  8. You wear a sports watch or a digital watch which competes for your wrist with some religious threads that are black, grey, yellow, red or all at the same time
  9. You have a cellphone that is 3310 or earlier version
  10. You dont wear a belt
  11. Your ponch makes ur pants go down every 5 minutes and you are the best when it comes to adjusting your pants
  12. You wear pants slightly below your rib gage and not around your hip bone
  13. You ride Honda Activa and not any bike ever
  14. You like carnatic music than cinema music
  15. You dont watch movies
  16. You dont say "cool" or "awesome". You say "cute"
  17. You carry a water bottle and napkin to restaurants

So what are you? Ambi? Ambi-in-the-making?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Kak Kak Ka ....Po

This thing called arranged marriage...It all starts with an arranged outing to Pizza corner :-(

You might actually hit off well in those 30 minutes..Absolutely great chemistry
  • She may like urlakezhangu too - like him
  • He will also like pink color - like her
  • He cant believe she also likes NDTV Profit to Kolangal serial
  • She is pleasantly surprised that he cooks well

And when they get married.

But then when its too late...

  • He figures out she has more mush than him
  • She finds that he can snore better than a bear
  • He finds she has a clumsy way of walking
  • She finds he can't tell between romance and sex. Its all three letters whichever way
  • He finds she buys her clothes from pondy bazaar still
  • She finds he never uses the flush petrified at the possibility of these happening.You know how I ward off marriage shifting job in 6 months..Pondati varadhukula car vanganum..If I move to a new job I need to stay for 6 months,steady the ship and then get married.Idhu minimum 1 year marriage vacation idea and can postpone indefenitely :-)

Single ho !

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Summers of 69

Its not unusual for us to turn back the folders (no longer pages) of our life and take out certain days as " (the) best days" and then there are bunch of other days which we refer as "those good times"

As I write now, I am closing out one of those good days!

The day was generally good to begin with and ended great!

No milk pouches lying around, nothing to cook, nowhere to rush -The day started like how a saturday should.I strolled down to the hair saloon and had a mild makeover, as though I intuitively knew that the day is going to be memorable.

I watched FIFA with Germany somehow managing to win a high scoring opening game and Poland struggling with its form.

The noon was how it was supposed to be. Nice food, pristine sun and laid back mind. Came back home and cleaned my bedroom that apart from my dear laptop, bed and the wires, had accumalated more than 100 grams of dust. Cleaning is reviving. And no better day than saturday to do it. Did it!

The nice day became good when Suresh called. He is a good friend who has come down from Bangalore. I co-ordinated a quicky getto and we meet at 4 at Cafe Coffee Day. Lamented about jobs, ranted about ourselves, worried about the future of the smoking (literally) hot chics in CCD and amply drunk carmel laced frappe.Had a mouthful to talk about old stories. Re-distributed old gossips to the eager ears of Lopa and Suresh. Gossiping is a good addiction than smoke and alcohol. So I profess this for fellow teetotallers.

A great day becomes more memorable when you meet another gang of good friends in a place that stood for good ol' days. I went from her treat straight to boat club at adyar. True to the charm of adyar, this is one place which is adventorous, outdoorsy yet conservative.The night's charm was captured well by the Volkswagen Beetle that stood right outside the boatclub verandah. Met a couple of ex-collegues. They boozed. I juiced.

In the background sang Bryan Adams " Those were the best days of my life" and said Tamnus of Narnia "Not everyday you make good friends. Come over to the corner. There is tea, cookies and cakes. We'll have sardines"

Sunday, June 04, 2006


As I beat my suddenly engulfed loneliness by resorting to cooking therapy, I switched on the TV today. “Iruvar” was playing.

There are some reasons for which am not a big fan of mani ratnam movies. Cinema to me is a medium that lends itself beautifully to capturing period themes. Iruvar is one such storyline.

Its about the friendship of MGR and Karunanidhi. How realistic a plot can you get than this?

As I write this now, I am just half an hour into the movie.I see a few unnecessary exaggerations that are typical of maniratnam movies.To me, maniratnam's characters are etched to me rememberable if not realistic, cute even if its out of place, always have an admirable (yet unnecessary) modulation (If you don know what I mean - Hold your neck with one handral tight, hold your breath and start speaking - Arvindsamy,madhavan they all did that)..

Now cut back to Iruvar, as a case in point.

To show MGR and Karunanidhi’s friendship – For no reason they are in each other’s hands almost all the time they meet and they are in some eccentric spell of poetic madness. From when did tamil culture promote hugging as a form of sharing affection between men, at least in public? When you make history you hug, But you do not make its lead characters hug all the time, when you make a ordinary scenes in a history movie!

Aishwarya Rai and Mohanlal’s marriage – Their honeymoon night. They run around the bed a la madhavan/shalini in alaipayuthe. Come on – That was not how 1960’s girls were (even if it were jayalalitha types)

Maniratnam one liners –
Sample this : ML”: Ena pidichirka? Aish: Naliku solren (No they don’t talk that way. Do they?

Cinema Set – You are showing black and white era and the set shows twilight in its blue, orange and yellow. From when did art directors give real colors when they know all that’s going to be shown is black and white?

Prakash Raj’s idealism – I understand he is a poet in this movie. However poets who are idealists talk regular tamil under normal circumstances. They don’t have to ooze idealism in poetic overtones whenever they speak. It does add to the aura, but that’s very maniratamesque! A thirvaroor based tamil young man in 1960 speaks with the same modulation that arvind samy speaks in minsara kanavu. How realistic is that?

In short maniratnam’s characters are cute in their own way, well etched and they act for an audience but not really realistic!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

CMMi Training - (My) Agenda

This was a two days training which earned a lot of my curse as it arrogantly intruded into my private weekends without permission.

The agenda of the training (which is a curtain raiser before we implement CMM in our company) is as follows:

  • 9 AM - 9 15 AM - Intro by the KPMG trainer
  • 9-15 AM - 10 AM - Introduction to CMM Levels
  • 10 AM - 10:03 AM - A raincheck on the dressing sense of participants (especially on the disappointing sense of fashion of select few)
  • 10-03 AM - 10-20 AM - Interactive session with KPMG trainer on SEPG (Software Engineering Practice Group) and their role in internal audits
  • 10-20 AM to 10-30 AM - A quick mental replay of NDTV Health snippet on Back Ache and ergonomics
  • 10-30 AM - 10-45 AM - Tea break
  • 10-45 AM to 10-50 AM- An anatomical comparision of the unfamiliar techlead in the CMMi training session with ex-girl friend
  • 10-50 AM - 11 AM - Practice Areas under CMM Level 2 and Level 3
  • 11 AM to 11-01 AM - A cursory check on how people look figuratively when looked from back, with oiled heads exposed well in tubelight illumination
  • 11-01AM to 11-15 AM - The difference between CMM Level 2 and Level 3 expectations in terms of setting and adhering to practice area tasks
  • 11-15 AM to 11-30 AM - Where IPPD would be applicable and how different it is from SE /SW
  • 11-30 AM to 11-40 AM - A self introspection on failed relationships
  • 11-40 AM to 11-45 AM - Subjective and Biased evaluation of questions asked by irritating colleagues
  • 11-45 AM - 11-50 AM - Unwanted, Unplanned yet executed bio-break
  • 11-50 AM - 12 Noon - Clueless observation of intellectually arrogant hara-kiri between senior management and the trainer on whether principles of XP can be fitted without omissions into CMM template
  • 12-00 Noon - 12-02 - A casual analysis of why his butt is so protruding
  • 12-02 PM to 12-03 - A silent sigh of dismay thinking about Kaavya Viswanathan for her dubious endeavour with "How Opal Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life"
  • 12-04-12-07 PM - Role of SEPG in defining process routines specific to our company
  • 12-07 PM - 12-30 PM - Tailoring guidelines for CMM Level 3
  • 12- 30 PM - 12-35 PM - Explosive orientation of dark, underground unionistic tendencies to coerce and collect participants' voice for lunch break
  • 12- 35 PM - 12-39 PM - Countless recounts of number of lines in a slide and a mental calculation of time taken for each line by the trainer and multiplication with the number of lines to arrive at the 90% confidence limits for when the lunch break would be!
  • 12-40 PM - An attempt to restrict physical movements to synchronize eye contact with a female colleague to make it look like a natural courtesy question, when I would ask her for lunch

I am not sure if anyone would be so honest about their value intakes in such highly important initiatives where the company ends up paying through their larynx and alveoli.But aren't all meetings having similiar agendas at least for the participants?

Then why bother giving us a print out of the training booklet with the first page being agenda? We already know it..LOL

This post is my tribute to those who have lost countless weekends in the name of training for the middle management (a.k.a suckers who have to do the grunt work of implemetation, when the boss can happily read about Preity Zinta's outfit in Cannes film festival and more to my irk, write comments for that article!)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Whats the plan?

What is the plan?What the hell is a plan?

Its not the corporate goobledgook am talking here.Friday evenings and late evenings, around your cubicles you would suddenly start seeing activity index soaring (sorry...i am a stock market buff...........I willfully inserted this, just in case a lady reader contemplates long term).

Well coming back to the point - These PLANNERS or HAPPENERS just whiz around lobbies and blocks busily for something that would put an event manager to shame.God save if u dont participate in this event planning event..AM talking about the weekly ritual call "Weekend Outing"...People who know you well or people who desperately wanna talk to you, just come by to ask "Whassup for saturday buddy" or versions of it like, "Whats the plan for tomorrow", "Whats the PoA for tomorrow"

BTW the C-Levels or C-wannabes use PoA - Thats Plan of Action...They even have a PoA to booze..Gosh..Give us a break...

Lets now see why am so bugged at this 'Whats the plan nonsense"

Firstly am peaceful with life. I dont have to let my hair down to feel peaceful. Even if i want to my hair always is curly and spiky.It gives me more tension to look groomed than to be a spiko and stay at home..So get it please..Am peaceful..Thanks..No Thanks for your invites

Secondly, I mean what the hell? Should you always plan your weekend..Why cant life be simple ya? What should you get nervous breakdown if you dont go out a saturday? I am at peace watching amitabh bachchan or sun news or even sun music at the comfort of my home.

Thirdly the ritual of deciding where to go really gets me wild. We discuss

  • Satyam theater ( any one with an ounce of brain can say you have to PLAN AHEAD to get tickets on a saturday night)
  • Restaurant (they always think savera, residency..poor me..i can cook sambar at home for 1/100 of the cost and release version 2.0, v 3.0 for the next two days)
  • Pubs (Here you go)
    I am wild coz after all permutations you end up choosing pubs and then why waste my cellphone bills for co-ordination calls? (Its a related matter that these PLANNERS run out of money every thursday evening..oh did i miss to add, mysteriously?)

Pubs - Silly !

If you think smoking gives you peace and passive smoking gives sorry..your father must be a dork to have created you

If bloddy marie and pinacolada are good ways to sip over with friends....guys you dont have a rat's brain..your drink does not cost 350 bucks..its actually 2350 bucks including service charges (Levied by dutiful police men)

Ah..moreover it smells like..aargh..dont ask me to say

Crowd - You said crowd? Crr-oowd? Ah hha haa...All see you see is some irish looking chics and revlon model wanna bes there, amply protected and served by saif ali khan's cousin types..So if you ever say.."Lets check out the crowd", you are a bloody public oogling incapable loser.If everyone comes to check out the crowd, who the hell is the crowd man? Tell me Tell me!

Side dishes and Orange Juice Mocktails - Pain and agony are the words. Half cooked potatos ...who needs potato wedges for 300 Rs..I need urlakezhangu kaara curry (spicy potato curry)..Can a pub give.. God htat tropicana orange juice sold as orangy tango drink..hehe..liar liar your pub should go down on fire

Social networking - Oh no..let me have a laughter that loud music that gives competition to a constipated yell,you are going to network?

After all these guys (well also girls) ask me why i dont drink or why I look outta place in a pub..

Simple - I can buy tropicana for 20 bucks, watch Ftv or even surya tv if am desperate about crowd (they show everything which a pub cant), I can breathe good air at home and moreover make better potato curry and sambar..

If none of them give me peace, i just sleep or go to beach

Guys get it to ur rodent brains..I plan for just one thing during weekend..that is when to shave..because if i plan well, i can avoid monday morning shaves and still look well shaven...

So the next time you ask me "Whats the plan"..
The answer is "Am gonna shave at 9 30 PM saturday night", after a south indian curd rice dinner and ananda vikatan...


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